The final stage of the extradition trial of the Kazakh citizen and political refugee, Aleksandr Pavlov, former security chief to the Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov took place before the Audiencia Nacional (Spanish National Court) in Madrid on 18 July 2013. On 22 July 2013, the decision was taken to grant the extradition of Aleksandr Pavlov to Kazakhstan. This decision to grant extradition is currently being appealed.
Aleksandr Pavlov’s case is of particular importance because it is part of the wider hunt for opposition members initiated by the Kazakh Government, which is taking place throughout Europe. Political opponents of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev who have been forced to run abroad to escape political persecution are now being taken to European courts for extradition. Kazakh authorities use allegations of offences such as terrorist activity, attempted overthrow of government, and financial fraud as pretexts to bring political refugees and their families back to the country, where they are in danger of torture, inhumane treatment and unfair trial.
Mr Pavlov requested political asylum in Spain. Unfortunately his efforts were denied, based on the decision of the Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI — National Intelligence Centre). The decision to deny political asylum is currently being appealed in order to allow for the facts and information that were not considered in the CNI’s decision to be analysed and addressed.
In light of the above information, and taking into account recent cases in Italy regarding the deportation of Alma Shalabayeva and Alua Ablyazova to Kazakhstan, and in Poland, where Muratbek Ketebayev, a political opponent of the current Kazakh regime and former colleague of Mukhtar Ablyazov, was arrested and against whom Kazakhstan has also presented an Interpol arrest warrant, is the Vice-President/High Representative aware of the case of Aleksandr Pavlov and does the European External Action Service (EEAS) intend to take any actions in order to prevent his extradition to Kazakhstan?
If so, what actions does the EEAS intend to take to make sure that Aleksandr Pavlov is not extradited to Kazakhstan; a country in which he is at risk of torture and ill-treatment?